A ROAD traffic collision that led to the death of a Deeside man “could have been avoided” if his car’s brakes were in “serviceable order”, an inquest heard.

Sergeant Michael James Terrence Clancy, commonly known as ‘Tez’, of Dodd’s Drive in Connah’s Quay, died on October 7, 2019 at Stoke Hospital following the collision which occurred on the B5126 (Mold Road) between Connah’s Quay and Northop a week earlier.

An inquest held in Ruthin on Wednesday (September 23) into the 74-year-old’s death heard that on the evening of September 30, Sgt Clancy was travelling along Mold Road from Connah’s Quay in the direction of Northop when his car skidded across the road and hit an oncoming car after he had attempted to negotiate a sharp right hand bend.

The inquest heard that Sgt Clancy, a retired avionics technician who served in both the RAF and British Army, was not travelling at overly excessive speed at the time of the collision – with the speed limit for that stretch of road being 50mph.

Weather conditions at the time of the collision are described as being very poor, with torrential rain causing some patches of flooding along Mold Road.

The inquest heard evidence from Stephen Bourne - the driver of the black Toyota Hilux 4x4 which collided with Sgt Clancy’s car.

Mr Bourne said he was travelling at about 35mph on Mold Road from the direction of Northop towards Connah’s Quay when Sgt Clancy’s car came onto his side of the road, pointed horizontally across the road, prompting Mr Bourne to break heavily.

However, the front end of Mr Bourne’s vehicle made contact with the left-hand passenger side of Sgt Clancy’s, causing it to spin around before it collided with the gate onto the field.

Witnesses of the collision describe finding Sgt Clancy’s car in a field next to the road, with debris from the car flung all over the field.

They describe finding Sgt Clancy in an “unresponsive” state, with head and hand wounds.

Emergency services, including an air ambulance, attended the scene and Sgt Clancy was airlifted to Stoke Hospital’s major trauma unit.

CT scans undertaken at the hospital found that he had suffered severe brain injury, as well as a fractured pelvis, abdominal and leg injuries and he was placed in an induced coma.

With Sgt Clancy having suffered severe neurological damage meaning the chances of him making a “meaningful recovery” being “too slim”, the decision was made on October 2 to end all life-support, with Sgt Clancy being placed in a state of palliative care before his death five days later.

Forensic collision investigators from North Wales Police found that the brake mechanisms on Sgt Clancy’s car were faulty, and that a rear brake defect may well have been a contributory factor to the collision.

They said the cause of the car rearing sideways was the condition of the rear brakes which affected the stability of the vehicle causing an “unavoidable loss of control”.

The investigators said the collision was “avoidable if the vehicle’s brakes had been in a serviceable condition”.

Recording a conclusion of Road Traffic Collision, John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, said Sgt Clancy’s death had been caused by diffuse brain injury.